Friday, February 27, 2004

Kenai Peninsula delegates set to learn from this year's hosts
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta --- Four airports, two airlines, one fog delay and a missed flight.

Reporter's notebook from Fort McMurray
Not everyone from the Kenai Peninsula will have a chance to visit the 2004 Arctic Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta, this week and next.

Yankees' Williams will miss start of season
Bernie Williams solved the New York Yankees' center field problem, at least for the start of the season.

Big Barry bombs back
Barry Bonds teed off on Turk Wendell for accusing him of using steroids.

With cursed ball gone, it's the year of the Cubs
CHICAGO In a flash, the ball that came to symbolize the Chicago Cubs' cursed history was blown up Thursday night, reduced to a pile of thread by a Hollywood special effects expert.

Despite scandal, Halliburton shares keep rising
NEW YORK (AP) As allegations of widespread wrongdoing at oil-services giant Halliburton mount, investors don't seem to care. In fact, they've been bidding the stock way up.

Business Briefs
Area chambers set scheduleCommunity council meeting scheduledEntrepreneurial training available to fishersPresentation for teach prospective teachers slatedInstitute offers scholarships to architectural studentsBusinesses support blood bankBed and Breakfast Association meeting scheduledState reports rise in exportsCall for Exporter of the Year nominations

Flying without the frills
LONDON You got a cheap airline ticket, what else do you want?

Alternative Minimum Tax isn't just for the rich
NEW YORK (AP) When Congress approved the Alternative Minimum Tax more than 30 years ago, the goal was to catch a couple of hundred millionaires who paid no taxes.

Boomers flock to doctor for latest wrinkle eraser
NEW YORK (AP) The crow's feet that radiate from the corners of Dr. Maureen Coleman's eyes don't bother her. And she's nonchalant about the laugh lines that trail from her nose to the corners of her mouth.

Cape Fox shipments drawing to end
KETCHIKAN Cape Fox Corp. is shipping one of its final two shipments of logs to Asia.

Teen's mind turns to mush(ing)
On the surface, 17-year old Elisabeth Habermann may seem a lot like other kids her age.

Art Briefs
Writing submissions being acceptedPainting group to meetArts summit to be heldLogo design contest announcedStudents' stories, photos wantedContest entry deadline coming upArt workshops offeredAssault awareness writing contest heldChurch soliciting for religious art entriesStatewide poetry contest announcedWriting Web site announced

Writers' group invites readers to partake
Many people daydream about becoming writers. For those who get serious about it, often the best way to start is by joining a writers' group. A good group can provide the training, discipline, feedback and encouragement to not only put words on paper but even bring them to publication.

Ash Wednesday opening of 'Passion' draws many crowds
PLANO, Texas The people streaming out of the movie theater looked as if they'd just attended a wake and many said they felt as if they had.

What's Happening
Best BetsEvents and ExhibitsEntertainmentUpcoming EventsFilmsDown the RoadAnchorage Events

Kenai visitors center washes up natural history display
Though they jumped the gun on spring, the staff at the Kenai Convention and Visitors Center decided it was time to do some cleaning.

Bill would change development of natural resources
Alaska's shallow gas leasing program has led to much controversy on the lower Kenai Peninsula and the Matanuska Valley, but a senate bill that would replace its streamlined permitting process with stricter procedures akin to those used in the state's standard oil and gas leasing program, does not address the concerns of residents where leases are already in developers' hands, according to residents testifying before the Senate Resources Committee on Monday.

Many make 'fortnightly' fun event
We had a great turnout to the Soldotna Middle School's February Fortnightly and we want to extend a huge thank you to Halcyon's Gina Kiel, Kathy Norgren, Janey Skuse, Summer Durst, and Signature's Carrie Hegwer for donating their talents and time for the Crazy Hair.

27 participate in annual Valentine's wallyball tourney at rec center
The staff at the Kenai Recreation Center would like to extend a big "thank you" to the 27 participants of this year's annual Valentine's Wallyball Tournament.

Nikiski residents should get to vote on community center
How sad! If the North Peninsula Recreation Service Area board really believes that its small statistical sample accurately reflects the wishes of the 7,000 residents of Nikiski, then it should be glad to let us vote on the Nikiski Community Center. A vote would once and for all put the issue to rest.

Soldotna businesses show support for students with test incentives
During the week of Feb. 17-20, Redoubt Elementary was busy taking the Terra Nova and Benchmark Tests. To help encourage all students to have 100 percent attendance during this testing window, the Redoubt Elementary Student Council elected to setup daily drawings for those students who were on time and in attendance throughout the week.

Kids show enthusiasm for reading
I wouldlike to express my thanks to all those who helped make Battle of the Books such a success at Mountain View Elementary. Although our fifth-graders did not place in the top four (we placed eighth out of 22 schools), I was very impressed with the students' dedication. Each child read all or most of the 13 books, came to practices daily the last few weeks and showed true sportsmanship, winning or losing.

Great musical in town right now; don't miss opportunity to see it
Wow! If you haven't had the chance to attend this year's Kenai Performers Community Theater yet, this weekend will be your last chance!

Students say thanks for great prizes
Kenai Middle School would like to thank Ted Navarre and Arby's for sponsoring the paper airplane contest at the Kenai Middle School Family Night! Participants were excited to have a chance to win the fabulous prizes that included a snowboard, skateboard and gift certificates from Arby's! Thank you, Ted, for your time, generosity and support.

Hospice appreciates those who help organization help others
Hospice of the Central Peninsula wants to express its thanks to the many donors, volunteers and individuals who attended and supported our Winter Wine Event, Auction and Fund-raiser on Feb. 7. The event was a resounding success in raising funds vital to our ability to serve our community. Your generosity enables us to provide care to many individuals at a difficult time in their lives, without additional financial worries. Hospice extends its thanks on behalf of those whom we have and will continue to serve.

Resident's son headed to Iraq
I just wish the local community to know that my oldest son, Christopher Donald Ross, who is enlisted in the U.S. Army is heading to Iraq for a possible two-year tour of duty.

Many contribute to winning season
The Nikiski High School Hockey Booster Club parents and players would like to thank the following sponsors for their support in making this a successful hockey season:

POMV plan not best option for protecting permanent fund
There are other permanent fund options available!

History shows President Bush not worst leader U.S. has had
How does President Bush stack up?

Snowmachiners' support of Tustumena 200 recognized
There are a great many individuals and organizations that dedicated time and energy toward the recent running of the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race, for which we are most appreciative.

Officials to look at how grid is built
ATLANTA Though NASCAR said there is no agreement with Fox, NBC or Turner Broadcasting to have a full 43-car field during the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, the sanctioning body said it's going to look at how the starting grid is built.

Points Leaders
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3402. Matt Kenseth 333

Racing legend teaches classes to fans
MORROW, Ga. There was no roll call or note-taking during a class called Stock Car 101 at Clayton College and State University.

Newsmaker: Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth won the 2003 championship despite winning just one race. He came into 2004 eager to prove his championship was well deserved. A victory last week at Rockingham, N.C., was the first step in that process. Kenseth talked about that victory and what it means to his DeWalt race team at Roush Racing.

Era promos take off
Thirty-nine dollar round-trip airfares between Kenai and Anchorage were among the travel deals and promotions Era Aviation's marketing director described to people attending Tuesday's Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon meeting.

Area businesses bring new ideas to the table at annual competition
Salmon isn't a traditional ingredient in Hispanic dishes or pizza toppings. However, if two of the winners at this year's Alaska Symphony of Seafood competition have their way, it will be.

Missing man dies of exposure
A 65-year-old Soldotna man was found dead Thursday afternoon by searchers who had been looking for him since Wednesday

Sports center to get chilled
Facing the chilling prospect of having its ice refrigeration control system fail in the near future, the Soldotna City Council Wednesday voted to go forward with a plan to spend approximately $150,000 on a replacement system.

'Passion' draws big audiance
At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, more than 50 people stood in line outside the Kambe Cinema in Kenai, patiently waiting to see the 4 p.m. opening of one of the most talked-about films in recent times.

Senate seeks appeal in fish stocking case
A Senate Joint Resolution being considered by the Senate Resources Committee requests the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Justice to appeal a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals banning the long-standing practice of salmon stocking in Tustumena Lake because it amounted to a commercial activity.

Michael A. Scalzo
Ninilchik resident Michael A. Scalzo died Tuesday, Feb. 24,

Floyd "Larry" Bigham
Floyd "Larry" Bigham died Friday, Feb. 20, 2004, at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage after a short illness. He was 55.

Conference of Alaskans aftermath
The three days of the Conference of Alaskans in Fairbanks was a real exercise in democracy. Our purpose in calling the Conference was to explore ways to "bridge" an anticipated $4 billion gap in state revenues over the next seven years. By 2011, we expect to see significant new revenues from new oil development and the gas pipeline, but in the meantime, we need to cover that deficit.

Special section notes changes in economy
What a difference a decade can make.

Democrats uneasy with Nader's entry into presidential race What others say
Ralph Nader's decision to enter the 2004 presidential race has some Democrats a bit uneasy, and it's possible the Dems have reason to be. Many of them think votes that otherwise would have gone to Democrat Al Gore went to Nader in the 2000 election, indirectly sending President George Bush to the White House. Their biggest fear is a repeat performance.

Close encounters of the unexpected kind: Aggressive grouse defends territory
One never knows what to expect in nature. A sudden encounter with the unexpected is one of the reasons I enjoy walking in natural environments. As one of my daughters used to say long ago when she was a child, "You never know what you're going to see."

Kids launch into Native
SEATTLE A Haida war canoe, built over the past three years by youngsters at Alternative School 1, was water-tested Tuesday in choppy waters off Golden Gardens Park in Puget Sound.

Around the Peninsula
Child care workshops set Basic skills program begins Quilters plan yard sale Cheer clinic slated Family History Center to hold open house B and B association meeting slated Taco fund-raiser planned

Around the Peninsula
Senior Olympic Games begin todayQuilt guild to hold open sewFamily Living Center to host open houseKids invited to cheer campSenior service board meeting slatedHospital auxiliary meeting setVillage Fair seeking vendors, volunteersCharter school to hold enrollment lotteryKayak fest planned

Searching for a soul mate: new online network helps link like-minded Muslims
Part of her hoped she'd find her soul mate when she joined Naseeb, a new online Muslim community. But getting a marriage proposal just three months later while on a snowboarding trip in Pennsylvania was way beyond Saara Sheikh's expectations.

Evangelical broadcasters see opportunity after Janet Jackson flap
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Evangelical Protestant broadcasters see something more in Janet Jackson's Super Bowl flash than exposed flesh and bad taste namely, the opportunity to market themselves as a wholesome alternative to mainstream television.

Everyone has power to stop America's moral decay
"He who lieth down with dogs, riseth up with fleas" is a quaint but effective way to communicate a significant concern.

Bahais say Iran released two longest-serving prisoners
WASHINGTON (AP) Iran has released two members of the Bahai faith who spent nearly 15 years in prison due to their beliefs, the U.S. Bahai information office said.

More evangelical Protestants are observing Lent and other liturgical traditions
DALLAS (AP) The 40-day season of Lent, which began Ash Wednesday, was once observed only by Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox and ''high church'' Protestants, but more evangelicals are noting the season with rituals and symbolism.

Church says upkeep costly for bluesman's gravesite
GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church finds it both a blessing and a curse that one of the world's most popular blues musicians is buried in its cemetery.

Church Briefs
Lenten breakfast program announced Concordia students to lead worship Easter program practice held Nikiski women hold Bible study Religious art sought Clothes2Go open

Southern Baptists, largest Protestant denomination, will again weigh name change
NASHVILLE (AP) The president of the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant body, wants consideration of a new name to reflect the group's nationwide and worldwide outreach, Baptist Press reported.

World Lutheran total put at just under 66 million
GENEVA (AP) The world total of Lutherans reached just under 66 million at the end of 2003, a net increase of 570,000 since 2001, the Lutheran World Federation reported.

'Middle way' Episcopalians who oppose conservatives plan national meeting
PITTSBURGH (AP) They're Episcopalians caught in the middle of the fight over gay clergy church members who support the majority position in favor of allowing an openly gay bishop to minister, yet they worship in conservative dioceses.

South Carolina racetrack welcomes churchgoers, bans beer sales
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) Summerville Speedway will feature another clergy car race next month, but won't sell beer this time so local churches feel comfortable at the track.

Peninsula trail conditions
Conditions and difficulty on local tails.

Weather has yet to ruin area ski trails
Try as it might, the weather has not managed to ruin the cross-country skiing on the Kenai Peninsula just yet.

Area skiers set to take on state's best
When the state's high school cross-country ski teams take to the trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area in Fairbanks for the Alaska School Activities Association State Championships, at least some of the competition will have a familiar feel.

Kenai boys stop Homer in overtime
Nick Barnes poured in 26 points Thursday as the Kenai boys defeated host Homer 69-66 in overtime.

Bailey-Portis almost done; Williams enters draft
The Champ Bailey for Clinton Portis deal is almost done, barring a breakdown in contract talks between Bailey and the Denver Broncos.

Baylor announces findings from hoops inquiry
WACO, Texas (AP) Former Baylor basketball coach Dave Bliss made improper payments to students, including a player who was killed last summer, the school president said Thursday.

Ninilchik girls pass Bristol Bay's test
The Ninilchik girls high school basketball team held off a stiff challenge from Bristol Bay Tuesday, defeating the visiting Angels 58-54 in a District 3/2A game at Ninilchik.

Mavericks rip Spurs
DALLAS Michael Finley opened the third quarter with a dunk and closed it with a swish from behind the halfcourt stripe, perfect bookends for a 46-point period that the Dallas Mavericks rode to a 115-91 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

Sports Briefs
Sather steps down as Rangers coachMilwaukee's T.J. Ford out two to three weeks

Firebombing near Athens raises concerns
ATHENS, Greece As Greek organizers sought to reassure the world the Athens Games will be safe, anti-Olympic activists firebombed two government vehicles Thursday to coincide with a major meeting of IOC officials.

Luongo stones Leafs as Panthers triumph
SUNRISE, Fla. Juraj Kolnik had two goals and an assist, and Roberto Luongo made 33 saves for his second consecutive shutout to help the Florida Panthers beat Toronto 4-0 Wednesday night.

St. Joe's remains perfect
AMHERST, Mass. Delonte West scored 23 points and Jameer Nelson added 19 and No. 2 Saint Joseph's remained unbeaten with an 83-58 victory over Massachusetts on Wednesday night.

Nikolaevsk boys win opener
The Nikolaevsk boys topped Seldovia 58-55 Thursday in the first round of the Warrior Rumble basketball tournament at Nikolaevsk.

Renney tops Islanders in debut
UNIONDALE, N.Y. Tom Renney debut as Rangers coach Thursday night couldn't have gone better in a 6-3 victory over the Islanders. Glen Sather stepped down Wednesday as Rangers coach after a 90-game stint over two seasons. He kept his jobs of team president and general manager

T-Wolves snap Nets' win streak
MINNEAPOLIS Troy Hudson filled the shoes of Sam Cassell just fine, helping end the New Jersey Nets' winning streak at 14 games.

Owens could lose free agency
Pro Bowl receiver Terrell Owens could miss out on free agency because he failed to file papers voiding the final two years of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

Stanford keeps perfect record
STANFORD, Calif. Josh Childress had 12 points and five assists in No. 1 Stanford's school-record 24th straight victory, 73-47 over Oregon State on Thursday night.

Peninsula puts three girls in top 10
Skyview's Elisabeth Habermann led three peninsula skiers in the top 10 with a second-place finish Thursday in the first day of the state cross-country skiing championships at Birch Hill Recreation Area in Fairbanks.

Photo feature: Sitting pretty
A bald eagle keeps watch over two others on a tree at the Soldotna landfill last weekend. The central Kenai Peninsula has a large accumulation of the birds this winter.

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